We’ve all heard the shocking statistic—Last year, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data were created . . . every. single. day. That’s more than a lot of data. It’s a tsunami of data. This rise in data was not a result of a sudden miraculous ability to create electronic information; instead, it is a result of technology that allows for improved methods of the recording of data. Of course, this means that the tsunami is only just beginning. The vast amounts of data will only grow. We at Internuntius would like to welcome you to a genuine, can’t-run-can’t-hide business revolution. You might have heard it called the Big Data Revolution, but that’s not quite accurate. Big data is big data, and while you shouldn’t ignore the business ramifications of doing business in the age of big data, it would be more accurate to call the driver behind the fundamental shifts taking place in businesses across the world: The Analytics Age.
Gary King, Director at the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences puts it this way: “It’s a revolution…We’re really just getting under way. But the march of quantification, made possible by enormous new sources of data, will sweep through academia, business and government. There is no area that is going to be untouched.” The Analytics Age is a genuine paradigm shift that has already begun to impact not only the way businesses operate, but the skill sets business leaders must cultivate to lead successfully in the future.
No matter how much business leaders wish to avoid the topic, Analytics Age leadership is not just another tiresome organizational initiative foisted off on business and management by hype masters. The Analytics Age is revolutionary because, while leadership responsibilities may appear to be much the same as they are now, those same responsibilities will be executed in a world that is characterized by the capture and analyzing of enormous amounts of data.
Former Intel CEO, Gordon Moore, is as much remembered for Moore’s law, his oft-stated maxim regarding the bi-annual doubling of transistors on computers, as he is for his leadership at Intel. Moore’s Law can be applied to the increasing amount of data as research estimates suggest that the world’s data will double in size every two years. Beyond data volume, IBM has characterized Analytics Age data by four significant features:
“It’s a revolution…We’re really just getting under way. But the march of quantification, made possible by enormous new sources of data, will sweep through academia, business and government. There is no area that is going to be untouched.”Gary King, Director at the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences
The amount of data coming into an organization
The rapidity of data movement and the required response to that movement
Increased number of sources for data acquisition
Describes the relevance, accuracy and timeliness of the data
Success in the Analytics Age requires that organizations not be overwhelmed by the volume, variety and velocity of data, while insuring the veracity of the data and applying the veracity of the data as a factor in strategy development.
Leaders familiar with pre-Analytics Age management might find the concept of decision-making amidst a tsunami of data to be of little concern. After all, data management and compilation is not an executive function. For most organizations, those responsibilities are shared between the business units of accounting and I.T. Yet, many of those same leaders are attempting to formulate corporate strategy based on information that is outdated, lacking in veracity, and/or poorly compiled from multiple lines of business systems. Moreover, in a report commissioned by Intel, research firm Basex, found that knowledge workers have already been impacted by the volume and velocity of data, experiencing data and information overload resulting in lost productivity and costing businesses $1 trillion annually.
There is perhaps no greater accountability for business leadership than the impact decisions have on the organization. Mastering Analytics Age leadership requires an understanding of the ways in which the data “revolution” will change business. Decisions can no longer be made from poorly cobbled together, out-of-date data. Businesses that wish to survive must make a commitment to changing the way business is done at the data level. Moreover, this is not a grass roots type of initiative, nor should it be an IT-driven initiative. The inherent liabilities associated with data governance require equal input from the executive suite, accounting, I.T., marketing and legal. Each of these business units plays a significant role in establishing a flexible data infrastructure capable of supporting business initiatives in an age where everything is measured, corporate liability is extensive, and business grows more social every day.